How to file a complaint against the Contractors State License Board

Or as I like to call it, the… Contractors State Anti-License Board, since they seem to go out of their way to deny licenses.

Do you feel like you’ve submitted overwhelming proof of your experience, followed every ridiculous request and requirement thrown at you by the CSLB? Do you feel like all they’ve done is drag you along with multiple requests for this doc or that scrap of paper? Have you replied within the timelines they’ve set only to never hear from them until you get a letter stating they’ve denied your application? Are you tired of calling and emailing them without ever receiving a reply? Have they denied your application based on some unknown, made up, pretend law or regulation that they don’t even bother to share with you while they’re denying your application unjustly?

Well don’t feel alone! There are 100’s of applicants at any given time going through the same thing you are.

What can you do about it?

How to file a complaint against the Contractors State License Board

One thing you can do is contact your State Representative. Click here, enter your home address, then click on the Rep’s web link. They all have a “Contact” button or form on their site. Tell them how poorly you’re being treated by this State agency and how non-transparent they are. Tell them you’re mad as hell and you won’t take it anymore!

You can also file a complaint with the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA). I’d recommend going through your State rep and using this DCA complaint process. Click here to file your complaint with DCA. You can remain anonymous if you want, but that probably wouldn’t result in a resolution of your application.

The more pressure that is put on the CSLB either politically or internally from the department that oversees their blatant disregard for the law as written, the better! We as citizens with Rights assured to us by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are duty bound to tell our government that we don’t approve of what they’re doing!

CSLB Continues to Disregard the Law

Here we go again, more evidence that the CSLB continues to disregard the law as written.

I know, you’ve heard this from me before (just last month), but the business naming issue and the CSLB’s blatant disregard for the law has to stop. It’s time for them to put on their big boy/girl pants and stop playing in the land of make believe.

B&P Code 7059.1 clearly states:

§ 7059.1. Misleading or incompatible use of name styles

  • A licensee shall not use any business name that indicates the licensee is qualified to perform work in classifications other than those issued for that license, or any business name that is incompatible with the type of business entity licensed.

Look at this letter that was recently sent by application technician Gloria Sagario.  In her letter she states that the word “Services” cannot be used as part of their fictitious business name.  Does the word “Services” denote any classification?  I mean it must if it’s in violation of 7059.1.  If “Services” denotes a classification that is different than what the applicant was applying for (C-10 Electrical), then what is that classification? Enquiring minds want to know!

Click here to see what outlines as the definition of “Services.”  I don’t see anything in there that suggests or denotes any specific California contractors license classification.  Perhaps Ms. Sagario is using the special CSLB version of a dictionary.  We already know they make up every other rule as they go, so why would we be shocked if they made up their own definitions for words in the English language.

CSLB 7059.1 Guide to Business Naming Rules
How the CSLB rolls!

Obviously, she’s stating as a matter of fact that the word “Services” specifically describes contractors.  I guess everyone else who provides “Services” should look for a different word.  There are internet services, catering services, dog walking services, dry cleaning services, package delivery services.  Someone needs to tell them that the CSLB has determined that that word refers to a yet-to-be-disclosed contractor’s license classification and that they are no longer allowed to use that word.

Obviously the CSLB is continuing to create, modify, make-up, pull out of thin air their own special rules and regulations… and now word definitions.

Perhaps the Great and Powerful CSLB Oracle will step out from behind the curtain, grace us with their presence and bestow upon us their galactic wisdom and consciousness. They obviously think that everyone outside the walls of their building are complete morons, buffoons, idiots and are beneath them. And how dare we question their perspicacity of wisdom?!

We The People are in charge here!  Not the government, and certainly not the CSLB!


During the writing of this blog post I heard from another applicant who is being told he needs a DBA. He’s applying for the C-54 and has Tile and Stone in his corp name. The CSLB says no… need a DBA because he can’t use Tile and Stone in the corp name. Even though Tile and Stone are specifically cited in their own description of the classification.

CSLB Certification Requirement

Here we go again on the make stuff up as we go merry go-round! What the law states is different than what they do. The CSLB certification requirement of work experience rules have a new twist.

Here’s the latest… I have a client who has obtained experience all over the world. He’s extremely qualified and I’m sure very talented.

Per one of the many other fabricated cslb rules, his overseas experience certifiers signatures must be notarized. One period of his experience was in Europe, but his certifier (who has first hand knowledge of that experience) now lives in the southern hemisphere. You would think no big deal. His certifier has moved, so his address on the certification form is in a different country from where they both worked at that time. No big deal… right? WRONG!!!

The cslb sent him a letter stating that the certifier must have an address in the same country as where the experience was obtained. Uh… What? Who? How? Says who?!?! Here is the text taken directly from the cslb tech’s letter:

Straight from the horses mouth!

For out-of-country experience, the Certification of Work Experience form must be certified in the country of origin. “

No section of law quoted, no regulation stated, just a straight up statement of… you must do this! Seriously?!?! What’s next… you must provide a blood sample?!? Give me a break!

Here’s the statement taken directly from the cslb law book regarding the certifier. You’ll notice that it says nothing about where the certifier must live or that his signature must be notarized.

What the law actually says:

“All experience claims must be verified by a qualified and responsible person, such as a homeowner, an employer, fellow employee, other journeyman, contractor, union representative, building inspector, architect, engineer, business associate, or a client if the applicant is/was self-employed. The person verifying your experience must have firsthand knowledge of your experience during the time period covered—that is, he or she must have observed the work that you have done and must complete and sign under penalty of perjury the “Certification of Work Experience” form, which is included with the application.”

“Under penalty of perjury” means absolutely nothing?! No… the certifier must live in the same place as where the experience was obtained… THAT’S the important thing here!! What a joke!

Wish I may, wish I might, wish upon a star tonight!

At some point, somehow, somewhere, someone has to put these people in check. I mean seriously… Who the F do they think they are!?! Is the certifier not allowed to move out of the country?! Amazing how the cslb thinks they can now dictate where a certifier MUST live!

CSLB Certification Requirement Frustration

Lies Lies… and a few more Lies

If there is one thing the cslb is good at is lying. Well that’s not totally accurate, they’re also good at not licensing qualified applicants, jerking applicants around, taking your money, making up the rules as they go, etc. etc.

Here’s the latest lie.

The cslb has stated in public that they do not require a fictitious business name (FBN), aka: a “DBA”, if the business name does not denote anything construction related. They literally said that they don’t care what you call your business, but if its construction related then they’ll hit you with B&P Code 7059.1.

§ 7059.1. Misleading or incompatible use of name styles

  • A licensee shall not use any business name that indicates the licensee is qualified to perform work in classifications other than those issued for that license, or any business name that is incompatible with the type of business entity licensed.

Here’s an example, and how it was explained to me at a cslb meeting earlier this year, if your business name is 123Main, Inc., a DBA is not required.  But if your business name is 123Main Contractors, they’ll ask for a DBA that is directly related to the trade classification you’re applying for.

Seems fairly straight forward, right?!

Well… that’s a lie! I’ve spoken to several applicants recently whose business names are as vague as 123Main, Inc. and they’re being asked, required, forced, pressured, to provide a DBA.  No DBA, no license.

CSLB Lie Detector Test

So, which is it cslb!?!?  You don’t care if the business name is vague and non-construction related, or you’re requiring every single applicant to provide a dba that doesn’t fit into your little box of what’s acceptable and what’s not?

I know that over the years I have posted about business names, it’s just that this one issue really annoys me.  It’s like that piece of popcorn kernel that gets wedged between your teeth just as the movie starts and you have to deal with it for the next two hours.  Just bugs the crap out of me that a State agency has the legal right to tell you what and how you can name your business.  Hell… I’m surprised they haven’t told me what I can name my business!  They seem to think they have authority to do whatever they want!

So once again, the cslb isn’t following the law as written or even standing by their statements made in public. Just more lies. Shocker!!

CSLB Owner Builder Experience

Let’s talk about CSLB owner builder experience for a moment.

CSLB Owner Builder Experience

Since the CSLB has once again become the Soup Nazi’s (Seinfeld reference) of State licensing, many people are asking if their owner builder experience is enough to get them to the B General Building exam room.

The answer is a big fat maybe.  The problem is that owner builder experience is also heavily scrutinized. They will require permits for each project to verify the framing component.  If you did not pull permits, it is very likely they will not give you any credit for that experience.

They’ll also require that you submit a certification of work experience form (part of the license application) for each project, and an Owner-Builder B General Building Construction Project Experience form for each project.  Click here to view the form.

But wait, there’s more…

They will look at how much of the work you performed yourself and how much of the work was done by other contractors, sub-contractors, and laborers.

But that’s not all…

They’ll also determine (using some secret imaginary formula) how long it would have taken a licensed contractor to perform the same work.  Here are the unknown factors to this secret formula: 1) how long has the imaginary contractor been building houses, 2) does he use imaginary laborers to perform the work, 3) and if so, how many imaginary laborers is he using?  No one knows, which makes their formula and resulting determination sketchy at best!

Many owner builders do most of the work by themselves and bring in contractors to perform, let’s say, pouring the foundation, or installing an electrical panel, or connecting the city power to the house, but the cslb has been known to heavily discount, if not deny it all together, a persons experience because of this.  Seem fair? Of course not.  The cslb doesn’t do fair.  They do, well, basically, whatever the hell they want.

The fine print…

So how many owner builder projects must have you completed in order to qualify for the ever increasingly elusive B General Building contractors license exam??  The cslb has publicly stated that they want to see at least four (4) owner builder projects completed per year for a four (4) year period. That’s 16 owner builder houses in four years.

Is this possible?  Yes, but only for the serious house flipper.  And not for the person who buys a house, lives it in while flipping it during his spare time, then sells it and starts anew with another house.

So there you have it, the cslb owner builder experience nightmare in a nut shell.

Applying for a B General Contractors License

If you intend or hope to apply for a B General Contractors License… forget about it!!


The CSLB has tightened the reigns a little more.  I’ve heard from applicants who have submitted permits (per the CSLB’s unwritten rule) for projects they worked on and their experience was still denied.

Basically the ONLY way anyone can qualify for the B General classification is by being an employee of a B General Contractor for at least four years.  If you are one of the few that has that kind of experience, you better have pay stubs and w-2’s at the ready… because just stating on the app that you were an employee of a B contactor may still not be enough.

Soap box venting time….

I am sick and tired of the CSLB going out of its way to keep people from getting licensed.  The friggen law states that an applicant’s skill and knowledge will be tested by a written exam!  Is following the law as written good enough for the Contractors State Anti-License Board? … No… they require the applicant submit this form and that form, permits, pay stubs, your first born!  They’ve really become a joke.  Their overblown sense of self-worth and self-importance is so blatant and the butt of many a joke within the industry and they don’t even see it.  They’ve probably created more unlicensed contractors than they have licensed contractors because of the ever-changing rules and procedures they create daily.  It’s no wonder their application technicians don’t have a clue, they must grab a program when they walk in the door just to know what rules are in play for that day.

And dog forbid that you ask them a procedural question!!!  It’s like asking the Colonel for his recipe!  Hey CSLB, how about you let the public know how your process works so that your techs don’t spend 7 hours a day rejecting applications!?!  Oops, sorry, I forgot… they can’t tell people how things work because they change how things work constantly.

So, do you want to get a B general contractors license, or add the B to your existing license?? ROFLMAO…. GOOD LUCK!!!!!!

Advertising on Craigslist

Have you done any advertising on Craigslist?  Are you unlicensed?  Beware, the CSLB trolls Craigslist looking for unlicensed contractors to come to their sting house and bait you into offering services that you can’t provide, legally.

Here’s the scenario, you don’t have a license but need business. So, you put an add on Craigslist offering your services and you state that you’re not licensed.  So far, so good.  You get a call from a “homeowner” asking you to come by and give them a bid.  The “homeowner” (CSLB Undercover) tells you how big the job is.  You, knowing that you can’t do work that is $500 or more including labor and materials, tells the “homeowner” that you can’t do the job because of the dollar cap and you’re not licensed.  Still good!  But then the “homeowner” asks what would it take to job, just for chits and giggles or making conversation, and you being a kind person, pass on some of your knowledge… Then BAM… out comes the badge and now you’re headed to the secret room where they read you your rights.

You’ve heard of Miranda, I assume.  You have the right to remain silent…  When the “homeowner” pumps you for more information, tell them you can’t comment because you’re not licensed and then walk away.  You’re not going to bid on the job anyway because 1) you don’t know the person you’re speaking to and 2) you can’t legally perform the work anyway.  So just walk away.  No misdemeanor, no fines, no court appearances.  Save your “over the limit” work for family and friends.  Better yet, stay off Craigslist.

California Handyman

California Handyman

Just a quick post to discuss being a California handyman.

There is no specific license for being a handyman, other than a business license in the city/county you reside in. A contractors license is only needed if your projects are $500.00 or more.

That per project amount is just that, per project/per client. You can’t split up a contract for one client over a period of time so that you’re only being paid $499.99 each time. If you do work for one client over the course of time, the total you were paid would determine if you should be licensed or not. For example, you worked on 10 projects for one client over the course of a year and they paid you $1500, you need a contractors license.

If you plan to apply for a B General Building license using your handyman experience, beware, the cslb’s opinion is that a California handyman (generally speaking) has little to no framing experience. Since structural framing requires a permit, and a license is required to get that permit, they believe you won’t have the necessary framing experience.

As I mentioned in another post, the cslb is considering the creation of a new license classification that does not have the framing component as a requirement of licensure. So those out there who are working as a handyman, you have a potential path to getting licensed and subsequently taking on bigger projects.

As a cslb expert, I’ve spent a great deal of time helping people to navigate the licensing process and to guide the California handyman down the path and through the red tape.

CSLB Considering Remodel License

In the not so distant past the CSLB considered a C-1 license classification, but it never came to pass. Well, it looks like their considering a remodel license again.

I think this is GREAT news!! With the CSLB being so heavy handed over the last months when it comes to acceptable B-General contractors experience, a new trade classification that eliminates the need for framing experience would be awesome! Hopefully, if this new trade comes to fruition, the CSLB will also eliminate the need for permits.

The reality is, that the CSLB seems to overlook or is unaware of, many projects never get permits pulled. For whatever reason. But the CSLB thinks that every job ever done that is structural in nature has a permit associated with it. Maybe I live in a bubble, or they do, or maybe my reality is different than theirs, I don’t know, but a “permit free” license classification would be a HUGE boost for the construction industry!

If you’d like to attend the meeting… You know I’ll be there!! … the meeting notice is below.

Stakeholder Meeting: Consideration of a C-License
Classification for Remodel Work
Wednesday, March 13, 2019, 1:30 PM
9821 Business Park Drive, Sacramento, CA 95827
First Floor Hearing Room
Conference Line Information
Call: (855) 797-9485 or (415) 655-0002
Meeting Number/Access Code: 924 483 882

  1. Welcome and introductions
  2. Discuss need for new license classification
    a. Internal experience analysis
    b. Licensing workshops polling
    c. Accept comment on other available data & public comment
  3. Adjourn
    This meeting is open to the public and accessible to the physically disabled. A person who needs a disability-related accommodation or modification to participate in the meeting may make a request by contacting Phyliz Jones at (916) 255-4000 or sending a written request to that person at the California Contractors State License Board, 9821 Business Park Drive, Sacramento, CA 95827. Providing your request at least five (5) business days before the meeting will help ensure availability of the requested accommodation.

What are your thoughts on a CSLB Remodel License?

Contractors License Fictitious Business Name Requirements

It has come to my attention that as of March 1st the Contractors State License Board now has fictitious business name requirements stating that any business applying for a license with a DBA needs to submit a copy of the filed Fictitious Business Name (FBN) statement with the application before they will post the application.  Just one more thing to make this already difficult process more difficult and take that much longer.

Remember, if your contractor’s license business name does not denote the trade classification you are apply for, they will require you to provide a fictitious business name.

Examples:  123 Corp applying for a B license would need a DBA like 123 Construction.  Or Shocking, Inc. applying for a C-10 license would need a DBA like Shocking Electrical.

To file a FBN, do a google search for How to File an FBN in (your county).